The benefits of white tea are similar to green tea. White tea is not oxidized and is lightly processed, so it retains many of the healthful compounds found in green tea, though it is more of a challenge to produce and is more expensive.
What Is White Tea?
All teas are harvested from the same plant, the Camellia Sinensis. This plant is a perennial that is trimmed to a convenient height for picking. Only the new shoots are picked for tea harvest.
Per Lisa Guy of My Body and Soul, white tea leaves are harvested at a younger age and for only a very brief time early in the growing season.
The leaves must be handled with great care and processed very quickly, so white tea is less common than green tea. White tea leaves undergo steaming and rapid drying before they are rolled and broken into flakes.
What Is White Tea Good For?
White tea is a healthy addition to any diet. Not only is it extremely high in anti-oxidants, but anyone who doesn’t care for the citrus tang of green tea may really enjoy the subtle yet sweet flavor of white tea.
White tea is a more delicate product than green tea. In fact, white tea gets its name from the delicate hairs that sprout from the leaves and the unopened buds of the plant during white tea harvesting season.
Tea experts with Clipper Teas recommend steeping white tea in hot but not boiling water (185 degrees Fahrenheit / 85 degrees Celsius) and experimenting with steeping times for the best flavor intensity.
Does White Tea Have Caffeine
All tea is caffeinated in its natural state. The process of decaffeination is challenging and can be destructive to the antioxidant qualities of the leaves and berries.
In fact, even decaffeinated teas still contain a small amount of caffeine.
If you are caffeine sensitive, white tea may still be a good choice for you because you can enjoy good flavor after a low steeping temperature and short infusing time.
It is possible to find white teas with a low caffeine content. Depending on where the tea is harvested, the plants themselves may produce a lower level of caffeine.
However, it is important to note that the method of decaffeination may strip the leaves of antioxidant benefits. Per experts at Caffeine Informer, caffeine contents can vary widely depending on the manufacturer.
Purchasing white tea with a low caffeine content and steeping it for a very short time should result in a low-caffeine cup of tea.
White Tea Benefits
The antioxidant power of white tea is similar to the effects of green tea. For anyone who doesn’t enjoy green tea, or just prefers a milder beverage, white tea can be a delicate, lightly flavored alternative.
Brew it at a lower temperature and steep it for just one minute to release the gentle, sweet flavor.
The antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) has been found to boost metabolism and increase fat oxidation. Per tea experts at LiveStrong.com, this compound is found in both green and white teas. If weight loss is your goal, white tea may help!
Can You Get Too Much Of A Good Thing?
The healthful benefits of tea drinking in general can become unhealthy if taken to extremes.
High levels of caffeine may lead to many problems including anxiety, sleeplessness and an elevated heart rate. If white tea is part of your evening ritual, it may impact your sleeping habits.
Storing Your White Tea
Per authorities at The World of Tea the greatest risks to tea in storage are light, moisture, air, heat and other flavors. When storing white tea, you may want to consider setting up a double seal.
For example, if your loose tea leaves came in a sealed bag in a tin, transfer the contents of the opened bag to a plastic storage bag.
Each time you remove tea, gently squeeze the air out of the bag and put the bag back in the tin. This protects your tea from air, light, and flavor contamination.
See also: Can Tea Go Bad?
White tea has a very gentle flavoring combination, so protecting the leaves from other odors is critical
If you have a vacuum sealer, experts at Verdant Tea recommend using it to extend the life of your tea. Once tea is vacuum sealed, store it in a cool, dark environment to extend the quality of the leaves. For white tea, don’t buy more than you can drink in six months.
White tea is a gentle drink with terrific health benefits. If you’ve never enjoyed white tea, boil your water, let it rest for a few minutes, then add tea and let it steep for one minute. This short steeping time should give you a baseline for your flavor preference.